RPGaDay 2018, Week Three: DESCRIBE…

RPGaDay 2018 infographic

RPGaDay is an annual celebration of tabletop roleplaying.

Week Three: DESCRIBE…

  1. … how your play has evolved.
  2. … a failure that became amazing.
  3. … a tricky RPG experience you enjoyed.
  4. … your plans for your next game.
  5. … the best compliment you’ve had while gaming.

Continue reading

Advertisements

RPGaDay 2018, Weekend One: NPCs

RPGaDay 2018 infographic

RPGaDay is an annual celebration of tabletop roleplaying.

This year, RPGaDay is combining the prompts in specific weeks and specific weekends into themes. It’s a cool idea. This weekend, the prompts are themed around NPCs. Downside of this theming is that the two prompts for this weekend overlap a lot. Since I’m combining my responses into a single post anyway, I might as well combine the prompts into a single response too. Here goes!

Weekend One: NPCs

  1. Most Memorable NPC?
  2. Favourite recurring NPC?

Continue reading

RPGaDay 2018, Week One: WHAT…

RPGaDay 2018 infographic

RPGaDay is an annual celebration of tabletop roleplaying.

I’m back with RPGaDay again in 2018. It was a cool experiment last year, and I got some good posts out of it, so it’s worth another shot. However, I didn’t like that the sheer volume of posts seemed to take over my whole blog. They swamped the front page and even now it takes too long to scroll past them if you’re trying to look at my earlier stuff. So, this year, instead of one post per day I’m going to group my answers together into weeks and weekends.

First up is Week One: WHAT…

  1. … do you love about RPGs?
  2. … do you look for in an RPG?
  3. … gives a game ‘staying power’?

Continue reading

Masters of Umdaar: The Starblades of Su’ul (from universe 3858)

What Happens Next? header image from Masters of Umdaar. Pencils by Tazio Bettin, colours by Enrica Eren Angiolini, via deviantArt

Dave Joria’s Masters of Umdaar, which I recently got an opportunity to run as a campaign at long last, includes a starter adventure called The Starblades of Su’ul. In it, the player characters, the Archaeonauts, set out to find one of the eponymous legendary swords before it can be claimed by Kaji-Sa the Bloodmonger, who is collecting the blades and already has one in her grasp. It’s a great adventure, fun to play and wonderfully evocative of the aesthetic (there are Lazer-Wolves!).

The adventure can stand alone, but it can also serve as the first session of a longer campaign, in which the players race Kaji-Sa (or other villains) to find the rest of the Starblades. It’s a fairly popular way to start an Umdaar campaign; it’s certainly how I did it!

The funny thing is, I’ve never seen any stats online for the other Starblades. In fact, it’s rare to see anyone stat up any relics that the Archaeonauts might uncover, even though people share heroes, monsters, and villains aplenty (check out #Umdaar and #MastersOfUmdaar on Google+, or the Elektrokhan, Facemonger, and Scorpotaurs from Dave Joria’s own Tangent Artist Tabletop blog), and even the occasional cliffhanger-style trap. But no relics, and no Starblades. I wouldn’t have minded some examples as a leaping off point when I was preparing my campaign.

So in this blog I present the Five Starblades of Su’ul (from at least one of the alternate universes of Umdaar, let’s call it 3858 why not), and some other resources that I used to run my campaign of Masters of Umdaar. I’d love to know if you find it useful!

Continue reading

Revealed Emotionality: Three rules to let your feelings radiate

A friend of mine recently told me that he is getting tired of the sorts of roleplaying games that he most often plays in, and he’s thinking of moving instead to more freeform and improvisational games. I respect the decision of course, but it’s a shame because it means I might never get to play in a game with him again.

I can’t do freeform roleplay. I need rules and structures and hooks and mechanics to help me carve out a space for myself in the conversation, which I am otherwise pretty bad at.

I especially love rules that allow and encourage me to to express the thoughts and feelings of my characters at the table. I find it one of the hardest parts of roleplaying and don’t do it spontaneously. When there are no opportunities for this in a game, it therefore often doesn’t happen. And if something doesn’t happen at the table, then it isn’t canon in the game, so the characters I play tend to be somewhat 2-dimensional. This is either intentional (I bypass the whole issue by playing transparently straightforward characters who wear their hearts on their sleeves) or unintentional (characters that are fascinating in the confines of my head become far less interesting when I’m playing them).

So in this blog I’m going to talk about three examples of very simple rules from games I’ve played that I have found to be a huge help in letting me express myself and my characters. Any one of them could be easily lifted out of their games and used for campaigns under other systems, too. Check them out, and let me know if there’s any I missed! (And don’t forget to check out my last blog post, if you haven’t already, about using emotions as actual traits that you can roll in a game!)

Continue reading